What limitations in terms of generalizability and internal validity can you anticipate based on the research plan you envision?

social worker

This week’s video introduces you to the Hernandez family. Juan and Elena Hernandez are mandated to attend parenting classes. As part of the parenting classes, they are required to participate in both a pretest (taken before classes begin) and a posttest (taken after classes end). Pretests and posttests can yield very useful information. They can measure the learning that has or has not taken place as a result of the education being provided. For this Discussion, imagine what kinds of questions would be on a pretest and posttest for this particular study sample (the parents who are taking parenting classes).

Post your explanation of what you think the social workers wanted to know when they designed the pre/posttest for evaluating the parenting classes. Be sure to address the concept of attrition and whether or not you believe they took that into account. Be sure to explain why. Then, analyze potential lessons learned from attrition. Finally, explain how you might design a study to gather data about the effectiveness of these parenting classes. Use the following questions to focus your thinking:

  • Would you recommend a pre-experimental, experimental, or quasi-experimental design?
  • Would the study involve measurement over time?
  • Would there be a control group?
  • In this group research design you imagine, what or who will be compared?
  • What limitations in terms of generalizability and internal validity can you anticipate based on the research plan you envision?
  • What can you tell the social worker about the issue of client drop out (also called attrition or experimental mortality)?
  • If there is no control group, what type of research design could answer the question: Is this parent training class effective in reducing abusive parenting practices?

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